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  • Aaron DeMayo

Drone Photography Assists City Planning

Drone aerial photography provides a unique and vital perspective of the existing environment, both built and natural. Aerial photography helps capture the character of a neighborhood, revealing information and patterns that are not as obvious from ground level. I often photograph buildings under construction as I find the development process fascinating and peering inside these structures uncovers the techniques and strategies being used that I can reapply within my architectural designs.


To face the challenges of the twenty-first century, it is broadly agreed upon that we must add more density in the form of mixed-use buildings that create walkable live-work-play 15-minute neighborhoods, near transit, and on high ground. This concept is being built before our eyes, as the once disparate areas of the Omni Arts & Entertainment District, Overtown, Edgewater, Wynwood, Wynwood Norte, Midtown and Design Districts edges begin to be woven together. The photo below, viewing east along the NW 29th Street corridor, is an excellent example of that, with development occurring on both the north and south of NW 29th Street, throughout each of the four distinct neighborhoods seen in this photo.

Wynwood Edgewater Midtown Biscayne Bay Miami Development Cranes The Dorsey 29N Wynwood25 The Cube
Aerial image view East Over Wynwood & Wynwood Norte along NW 29th Street toward Edgewater & Biscayne Bay

Aerial photography highlights vehicle and pedestrian movement, view corridors, and development patterns. I often capture beautiful images showcasing the natural environment. From a glistening sunset on the Miami River behind the towering Downtown skyline to the dense tree canopy over Coconut Grove and Coral Gables surrounding the Douglas Road Metro Rail Station. We must continue to integrate man-made systems, within the existing ecosystems.

Metrorail Transit Oriented Development TOD Miami Coral Gables Douglas Road Station Coconut Grove Adler Companies Merrick Park Coral Gables Senior High SChool
Aerial view north east over expansive growth around the Douglas Road Metrorail Station in the foreground
Aston Martin Residences Downtown Miami Brickell Key Miami River Construction Development Crane Condominiums Baccarat Residences Future Vision
Aerial view at the mouth of the Miami River with Aston Martin Residences growing on the northern bank in Downtown Miami

Aerial photography provides an important holistic view. When used as a tool to understand a neighborhood’s existing character, assets, shortcomings, and potential development patterns, it can help shape our city into a more resilient, sustainable ecosystem through informed decision-making. My photography has been featured in dozens of articles this year, helping create more thorough news stories, and hopefully, informing the perspectives of the professionals that are shaping our built environment, resulting in our cities’ growth responsibly and sustainably.


Links to some of the web pages where the photography was featured are included below.


https://www.thenextmiami.com/royal-caribbeans-giant-headquarters-at-portmiami-appears-to-be-halted-photos/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-giant-battery-installed-in-wynwood-with-enough-power-for-7000-homes/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-construction-progress-at-the-boulevard-with-283-luxury-apartments/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-starwoods-new-miami-beach-headquarters-two-months-after-topping-off/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-5000-new-apartments-in-midtown-miami-area-completed-since-2015-including-amli/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/25-story-smart-brickell-has-reached-the-top-floor-photos/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-construction-progress-at-21-story-citizenm-hotel-in-brickell/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/57-story-830-brickell-approaches-the-halfway-mark-with-active-negotiations-underway-for-office-space/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-wynwood-27-wynwood-28-begin-vertical-construction-photos/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/wynwood-green-gateway-at-wynwood-continue-construction-with-residential-office-retail-photos/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/the-dorsey-is-rising-in-wynwood-with-306-apartments-office-retail-photos/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/construction-continues-at-the-plaza-coral-gables-biggest-project-ever/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-melo-groups-60-story-downtown-1st-rising-quickly/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/cladding-installed-at-gateway-at-wynwood-where-barrys-is-considering-opening-hq-office/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/miami-is-now-the-second-most-expensive-housing-market-in-america-prices-are-still-rising/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/foundation-work-continues-at-downtown-miamis-new-852m-courthouse/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/wynwood-aerial-photo-tour-here-are-some-of-the-projects-under-construction-in-miamis-hottest-neighborhood/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-construction-progress-at-curbless-pedestrian-friendly-flagler-street-rebuild/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/incredible-drone-photos-show-construction-at-aston-martin-tower/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/notice-of-commencement-filed-at-brightlines-miamicentral-supertowers-site/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/construction-progress-at-solar-powered-grove-central-at-metrorail-station/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/tiktoks-parent-company-actively-looking-for-office-space-in-miami/ https://www.thenextmiami.com/photos-explosion-of-transit-oriented-development-at-coral-gables-metrorail-stations/

https://nicholsarch.com/wynwood-aerial-photo-tour-here-are-some-of-the-projects-under-construction-in-miamis-hottest-neighborhood-the-next-miami/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wynwood-aerial-photo-tour-here-are-some-of-the-projects-under-construction-in-miamis-hottest-neighborhood-the-next-miami

https://floridayimby.com/2021/12/coral-gables-experiences-boom-in-transit-oriented-construction-projects-near-douglas-road-metrorail-station.html

https://floridayimby.com/2021/09/melos-57-story-downtown-1st-superstructure-continues-vertical-ascent-in-downtown-miami.html

https://floridayimby.com/2021/10/wynwood-square-exterior-reaches-completion-at-2201-north-miami-avenue-in-wynwood-miami.html

https://floridayimby.com/2021/10/aston-martin-residences-nears-topping-out-at-300-biscayne-boulevard-way-in-downtown-miami.html

https://floridayimby.com/2021/11/notice-of-commencement-filed-where-two-83-story-towers-are-planned-at-miamicentral.html